This unique Festival of the Sun and Light in the Church of the Holy Cross has developed from valuable astronomical and architectural significance of this 9th century church. English architect Thomas Graham Jackson named it the smallest cathedral in the world.
Magical play of the Sun, light and shadows is displayed inside the church, therefore some experts compare it to Stonehenge. There is a special relationship between the Sun and the church, visible through light communication. The church is used as the Sun’s solar clock and calendar. The festival is based on the research of Mladen Pejaković.
On the first day of summer, 21st June, during the summer solstice, in the church’s central apse the light can be observed for two hours of the morning: between 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. During these hours the Sun is positioned very high in the sky and at this point minimum amount of light rays enter the church. On the first day of spring, exactly at 10:00 a.m., the equinox light rays are entering parallel through 3 windows forming three parallel oval shapes in the middle of the church. The same formation of the Sun rays happens on the first day of autumn however, at 11:00 a.m. due to daylight saving time. On the first day of winter, the first morning sun rays are visible in the church and exactly at noon all the Sun rays vanish.